Social Media is Here to Stay

I occasionally hear some old school folks put social media down and I’ve even heard some say that it is a passing fad. To that I say, “Bunkum!” Social media is not simply a passing fad. What you may find is that some of the social media SITES are passing fads. They come and go so fast, many don’t even know they existed. Tobri is a good example of that. It was a small social media site that tried to act along the lines of the Facebook and others. Unfortunately, the popularity never was achieved and it slowly faded away.

Did you know that when the internet first appeared many (including Microsoft executives!) predicted that it wouldn’t be used and would fail.

Since we grasp the fact that social media is here to stay, we might as well use some of the websites and tools available to help make our online lives easier… Juggling a bunch of social media sites is impractical. Instead, you should seek out powerful dashboard and automation tools.

Social Oomph is one of those tools. With it, you can automate DM (direct message) replies to anyone who follows you on Twitter. Or, you can preset tweets to happen at a specific date and time. This is a cool tool that can automate many of your social media tasks.

Tweet Adder is another really cool tool that helps you to easily find folks to follow and to get followers on Twitter.

I am also getting to the point where managing and staying on top of all of my social media outlets is nearly impossible. So, I joined XeeMe (pronounced See Me); which is not just another social media site to add to your deluge of sites. This one actually helps you to juggle that growing number of social media sites, and keeps all of your sites easily accessible and findable for your followers/stalkers. On top of that, XeeMe provides some pretty handy and useful analytic tools for your online presence.

I have a tendency to separate my business and personal aspects in social media. In other words, I use Facebook primarily for personal status updates and connections. I use LinkedIn for business connections and updates. I usually use Twitter for both personal and business updates. And, I have two different accounts on Google+ (one for personal and one for business).

Checkout my entire social media presence and how to stalk me here.

Let me know how you juggle your social media sites! Also, do you think that social media is simply a passing fad?

-Vaughn

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Stalk Me

It may sound creepy, but I’d love for you to stalk me! Seriously! I’m always looking for new virtual connections and friends. In this information technology age I am living life on the bleeding edge. I have countless social media outlets and memberships. Today I will list many of them and request that you click on each and connect with me! Please?

Without further ado, click away!

Stalk Me Online

My Online Blogs and Sites

To find out more about me, read my article: Allow Myself to Introduce Myself.

Also checkout my About page.

Better yet, read my memoir, Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C.

Enjoy your stay here, and please remember to subscribe to our newsletter and share this site URL with your friends!

Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

Monetize Your Website with Advertisements

As you can see on my right sidebar (bottom of page on your mobile device), I use Google AdSense and highly recommend it to monetize your website. That said though, there are some fairly strict rules that you must adhere to, or you risk being banned from the program. For instance, I cannot ask you to click on my ads, and would never dream of requesting that, even though it would help support my blog. This post is going to discuss some of these rules in a little bit of detail.

First things first – If you fail to follow Google’s AdSense program policies, you might be banned for life. I’m not kidding! Fortunately, the gist of the program policies are straight forward and easy to adhere to. Basically you cannot encourage clicks or click your own page ads… Also, your content must meet the guidelines (no porn, gambling, and so on).

AdSense is what you join to get advertisements to post on your site. If you’re looking to advertise on websites, you need to look into Google AdWords.

Before going down this path, I highly recommend that you investigate the policy and read other information you can easily find. Make yourself comfortable with the rules before proceeding. Remember: it is your responsibility to check this stuff out. Just like everything else in your life, the onus falls on your shoulders.

Let’s define a few no-no’s that are recognized by several of the big advertisement companies:

Click Fraud
Click fraud is when a website owner clicks on his own ads to boost the number of advertisement ad clicks that he gets. Clicking your own website ad is against the policy of nearly all advertisement companies, and should never be done. Not even once to test that it’s working okay.

Cloaking
This is a technique that some website developers use to make a search engine think your site is something completely different than what it actually is. If you participate in this sort of bad behavior than you can lose your AdSense account and you may even have your website removed from Google (and other) search engine indexes.

Keyword Stuffing
When you inundate a website with repeated keywords, this is known as “keyword stuffing.” Usually done by hiding keywords inside content by matching the font color and background color. In this way, visitors rarely see the extra words, but search engines pick them up.

Title Stacking
Essentially this trick is done by using the HTML “title” tag redundantly. By making multiple title entries using same or different keywords, you can optimize your site for searches. However, this is pretty easily found out and you chance having your website removed from the search indexes.

Unrelated Keywords
Any time you pile up keywords that aren’t related to the content of a page, you are guilty of this practice and chance having your site banned from search engines.

Duplicate Content
Website administrators sometimes put up the same article on different pages to enhance and boost the page views that they receive.

All of these “dirty tricks” are considered bad and can easily get your site removed from advertisement companies and search engine indexes. DO NOT DO ANY OF THEM!

In all honesty folks, it ain’t complicated. If you want a descent amount of visitors and repeat customers than your best bet is to do things the old fashioned way… Earn them! This isn’t rocket science. There truly is a simple formula to get tons of visitors and returning readers:

1. Create good content.
2. Create regular content.
3. Be honest.
4. Offer your knowledge and help when you can.
5. Don’t be a bozo! (okay, I just made that one up)

Is that so tough? Not really.

Now that we’ve covered how to get you kicked out… Let’s talk about getting you in! Before we stand-up your AdSense account, let’s quickly go over what you need in order to get validated.

You need a website that has existed for a while and is loaded with great and frequent content. Your website will need to have been created more than a month ago (longer is better, as long as you’ve been pumping it with content). A blog works really good for this, because you update the content on a daily (or at least weekly) basis – Don’t you? Once you have about 22 blog articles posted, you are ready. Google doesn’t publish there standards, so these are only guesses based on previous experiences.

In order to request an AdSense account, you simply login to your gmail account (you will need one of those) and follow these quick steps:
support.google.com/affiliatenetwork/publisher/answer/156883?hl=en.

BTW – You only need to be accepted at one of your websites, so pick the very best one with lots of content and updates and submit that one for approval. Once you’re approved, you can use this account for ALL of your websites (as long as they follow the guidelines).

After you’ve setup your account, go to AdSense and create your ad. After creation, AdSense will give you the short bit of code that you can insert into your webpage(s). Viola!

Now all you need is for people to click your ads! Like I said, you want people to click your ads, but you can’t ask them to. Remember this rule. As much as I’d love to tell all of you to go over and click my ad, I cannot. As an honest and upstanding blogger it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to cheat the system. Instead, provide good articles and information and wait for the readers to start clicking on their own accord.

I hope my post was helpful.

See you next time,
V

Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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How to Create Your Own Blog

Several times a week I am asked two questions:

1. What is a blog?
2. How can I make my own blog?

So, I thought I would take a break from the deadly serious subject of health and wealth and tackle another tough subject: blogging… and, how to do it.

What is a blog?
Let’s start with a definition. The term blog was created by combining the two terms “web” and “log.” Somewhere along the line, someone simplified these into the single word, blog. A blog is a journal of sorts that stores and displays (usually in reverse chronology) a person’s blog posts (articles).

Most blogs are articles around a certain subject. For instance, my blog HIVLongevity.com was created to discuss how I’ve survived all of these years despite being HIV+. As you can see (if you read my other blog), not all of my articles are specific to surviving, but most all of them relate back to the subject in some form or fashion.

You will find that almost all blogs out there have a way for readers and subscribers to comment on a specific post. In this way there is often an open dialog between the author(s) and readers. Therein lies the magic of a blog!

Should you create a blog?
Do you have a story to tell? Or, do you have lots of things to say that you think others would dig reading? You first might consider sticking to simple social media avenues like Twitter and the Facebook. But, if you, like me, feel compelled to post long diatribes on a routine basis then maybe a blog is for you. An important question is: Will you be able to keep up with a blog? Many authorities in the blogging world recommend posting a blog article AT LEAST once per week. Most say that you should even do more than that (think two or three per week at a minimum). Despite what you might think, this is much tougher than you can imagine without trying it!

If you think you have something to share. And, that you’ll be able to share that weekly (or more often). And, (perhaps most importantly) that others will be interested in what you have to say/share… Then a blog may be just the thing for you.

Before moving forward and creating a blog, I would recommend going out and reading other people’s blogs. Find ones that you like and read them on a regular basis. Note what they do that you like, and what they do that bugs you. This way you will be more prepared to provide a good blog for your future fans.

How is a blog created?
One of the first things you need to decide is if you want to host or be hosted. What that mostly means is how your URL will look. When I created hivlongevity.com and healthywealthytribe.com I decided to host it myself; which gives me the unique URL and a little bit more control (including deciding not to have someone else’s ads on my blog). If I had gone the hosted route, my blog URL might have been something like: healthywealthytribe.wordpress.com

If you can afford to pay for a URL and site, and have the additional time needed to manage and administer your own site, I would recommend hosting it yourself. In addition to not having some provider’s ads on your blog, you also get the unique name, and to me it feels more like your personal site.

That said, a free hosted blog site can be a good way to get started and learn the ropes. Just remember that if your idea/blog takes off and you decide to host it yourself later that you will not necessarily take your subscribers with you! Migration from a hosted blog to your own site is not an easy process, and you may lose readers along the way. Think this out before deciding.

Creating a hosted blog is extremely easy. You simply go sign-up at a service like:

wordpress.com
www.blogger.com
www.movabletype.com

If you plan to do the hosting yourself, then I recommend using a provider like godaddy.com or someone similar. GoDaddy has a very easy process and you can stand up a server with pre-installed blog software using your very own domain name.

I purposely didn’t go into deep detail here, because there are lots of sites that have already done this. If you are new to domain creation and blog install, I would recommend visiting one or more of the following sites:

firstsiteguide.com/start-blog *note: most comprehensive blog creation site I’ve ever run into!
howtostartablog101.org
www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Blog

Another great resource (as usual) is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

How Long Will This Process Take Me?
The first thing you need to do is come up with a catchy name that isn’t already taken. This can take a few hours of investigation. After the name is decided, getting the domain name, setting up hosting, and installing your preferred blog software is normally accomplished within an hour or two.

Once that is complete, you will need to select a theme (free or paid) and install it. Selection can take anywhere from ten minutes to ten hours depending on how much research you do. Installation of the theme is a simple process and only takes a few minutes.

The tough part is editing your theme to make the site precisely the way you want it. This includes adding “plugins” to add the cool features you want on your blog. You’ll also add pages as needed (like about, contact, etc.) Expect this editing/adjusting part to take a solid twelve or more hours… if you’re doing it right.

Now comes the easy(ish) part. Posting your first article. I like to do a “Hello, world!” post to get things kicked off.

Once you have that first article published, consider writing other ones in advance and scheduling them. Most blog environments offer the ability to postpone publishing until a future date. Doing this ensures that you’ll have fresh content going up on a regular basis.

I like to plan on an ENTIRE weekend to fully create a blog site and get the first article published.

How to Attract Readers to Your New Blog
Once you have the blog in place and have done a post or two, start by bouncing it off your friends with emails and status post on your favorite social media site(s). With a little bit of feedback, you should be able to adjust and work up to a mighty masterpiece.

When you feel that your blog is ready for the general population, you can freely advertise it by going to other (similar) blogs and replying to blog articles as comments. You will notice that most blog comments allow you to put your website URL in there… Insert your blog URL. Before you know it, you will start to have a following and it will grow by word of mouth.

Deeper marketing and publicity ideas are easily found on blogs around the web.

Most of all; make sure that you are having fun with your blog.

Now… Start writing!

Your friend and fellow blogger,
Vaughn

p.s. In future posts, I will tackle deeper blog subjects like: plugins, themes, getting readers, advertisements, and even make some side-money posting. Until then, I hope this was useful.

Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.